Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Bell's Palsy Underlying Cause

Facts about Bell's palsy:

  • Bell's palsy is caused by inflammation and irritation of the facial nerve.
  • The cause for this inflammation is not known.
  • Corticosteroid medications are used to treat Bell's palsy because they reduce inflammation.
  • Bell's palsy is also treated with antiviral medication because there is some evidence that a virus might cause inflammation of the facial nerve.

Last Updated: Jan 25, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Bell's Palsy References
  1. Adour KK, Ruboyianes JM, Von Doersten PG, et al: Bell's palsy treatment with acyclovir and prednisone compared with prednisone alone: a double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol 1996 May; 105(5): 371-8. [8651631]
  2. Murakami S, Mizobuchi M, Nakashiro Y, et al: Bell palsy and herpes simplex virus: identification of viral DNA in endoneurial fluid and muscle. Ann Intern Med 1996 Jan 1; 124(1 Pt 1): 27-30. [7503474]
  3. Piercy J. Bell's palsy. BMJ. 2005 Jun 11;330(7504):1374. [15947400]
  4. Salinas R. Bell's palsy. Clin Evid. 2003 Dec;(10):1504-7. [15555157]
  5. Salinas RA, Alvarez G, Ferreira J. Corticosteroids for Bell's palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis). Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2004 Oct 18;(4):CD001942. [15495021]
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